Pay With PlugShare will be available at more than 300 SemaConnect charging stations in the US and Canada and will operate under PlugShare, an app that helps EV drivers find a place to charge and now also pay for the charge.
Both companies say they want drivers to be able to plug in at public stations with efficiency and ease. Pay With PlugShare solves the dilemma of proprietary payment, extra fees and members-only charging, they say. The service combines finding the best place to charge for every driver’s plug-in needs while accessing the world’s largest charging network, with a payment solution built into the same app.
Since the payment method only needs a smartphone and doesn’t require membership costs and prepaid subscriptions, and RFID tokens or phone calls, this process is more reliable and cost effective for drivers to charge, the companies say.
The platform is currently available with iOS and will soon be available with Android this winter. Visa, MasterCard and Discover are all accepted; credit card and customer data is stored securely.
The Pay With PlugShare platform has been designed to be charging network neutral and scalable from the ground up. Networks providing fee-based public charging can add Pay With PlugShare functionality while maintaining direct control over pricing and their infrastructure.
Pay With PlugShare can be linked with networks’ existing payment infrastructure or can use PlugShare’s e-commerce infrastructure. Additionally, Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) Support will be rolled out before the end of the year.
Late last month the Open Charge Alliance, a global consortium of public and private EV infrastructure leaders that promotes EV charging network interoperability, launched its charter and issued a call for new international members.
Closed networks generate frustration for EV drivers, who need and expect the same accessibility that they enjoy at the gasoline pump. That driver frustration translates to risk for charging station owners, who fear the financial burden of stranded assets if they are bound to proprietary EV networks, the OCA says. The back-to-back bankruptcies of Ecotality and Better Place have exacerbated these fears.
Open EV charging networks are the solution, the OCA says.